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BEIJING: THE HEART OF HISTORY, GEOGRAPHY, ART, CULTURE, HERITAGE SIGHTS & ...

Posted on 2016-05-04 | Written by Leo

Have you ever thought of visiting the World's Best Heritage sights? In life everyone likes the best of the things. So, even you would be prompted to do so, as a natural human urge, either today or tomorrow. Whenever you feel so, the destination place will be none other than Beijing. But why? Yes, the natural answer is that Beijing has seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites – the Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, Summer Palace, Ming Tombs, Zhoukoudian, Great Wall and the Grand Canal. If you add spices to food, the taste gets enhanced. Likely, Beijing has a lot to add to the food of travel & tour. You enjoy a lot of things including palaces, temples, parks, gardens, tombs, walls, gates, art treasures and universities, making Beijing the epicenter of culture & art in China.

Beijing means "Northern Capital" the name given to the city by Ming Dynasty in 1403. Beijing is abbreviated as 京 & officially as BJ. It is the capital of the People's Republic of China and one of the most populous cities in the world, with a total population of 21,150,000, As of 2013.The city is the 3rd most populous in the world & the second largest Chinese City. It is a major hub for the national highway, expressway, railway, and high-speed rail networks. The Beijing Capital International Airport is the second busiest in the world by passenger traffic.

The city's history dates back three millennia. The earliest traces of human habitation in the Beijing municipality were found in the caves of Dragon Bone Hill near the village of Zhoukoudian in Fangshan District, where Peking Man lived, as found from the fossil records. Paleolithic Homo sapiens also lived there more recently, about 27,000 years ago. The first walled city in Beijing was Ji, a city-state from the 11th to 7th century BC. Within modern Beijing, Ji was located south of the present Beijing West Railway Station. This settlement was later conquered by the state of Yan and made its capital under the name Yanjing. Hence, visit to the places is most interesting, as we find ourselves in an Wonderland like Alice, which is true.

In Early imperial China, the most historic structure found is The Tianning Pagoda, built around 1120.It is located in Xicheng District of Beijing, China. The temple contains the 12th-century Pagoda of Tianning Temple. The pagoda is a Liao Dynasty pagoda built from around 1100 to 1119 or 1120 CE, shortly before the Liao Dynasty was conquered by Song and Jin. A visit there would take you to around 1100 CE. This thirteen story, 57.8 m tall, octagonal-based Chinese pagoda made of brick and stone, yet imitates the design of wooden-constructed pagodas from the era by featuring ornamental bracket supports. It rests on a large square platform, with the bottom portion of the pagoda taking on the shape of a sumeru pedestal. The pagoda features a veranda with banisters, yet is entirely solid with no hollow inside or staircase as some pagodas feature. Other ornamental designs include arched doorways and heavenly Buddhist guardians.

Also visit the The Summer Palace, enlisted by UNESCO on its World Heritage List. It is in this place where Kublai Khan wrote his poem. It is a vast ensemble of lakes, gardens and palaces in Beijing, China. It serves as a popular tourist destination and recreational park. Mainly dominated by Longevity Hill and Kunming it covers an expanse of 2.9 square Kms, three-quarters of which is water. Longevity Hill is about 60 meters high and has many buildings positioned in sequence. The front hill is rich with splendid halls and pavilions, while the back hill, in sharp contrast, is quiet with natural beauty. You will also like the cool breeze in the central Kunming Lake, covering 2.2 square Kms which was entirely man-made and the excavated soil was used to build Longevity Hill.

Geographically, Beijing is situated at the northern tip of the roughly triangular North China Plain, which opens to the south and east of the city. Most of the city is mounted by mountains. The desert Steppes cover the agricultural heartland. Northwestern part of the municipality, include Yanqing County and Huairou District, dominated by the Jundu Mountains, & western part is framed by Xishan or the Western Hills. The Great Wall of China across the northern part of Beijing Municipality. It was built on the rugged topography to defend against nomadic incursions from the steppes. Mount Dongling, in the Western Hills and on the border with Hebei, is the municipality's highest point, with an altitude of 2,303 metres (7,556 ft).

Major rivers of Beijing include Chaobai, Yongding, Juma, flowing in a southeasterly direction. The Miyun Reservoir, on the upper reaches of the Chaobai River, is the largest reservoir within the municipality.The urban area is elevated upto 40-60 mts. The city spreads out in concentric ring roads. The Second Ring Road traces the old city walls and the Sixth Ring Road connects satellite towns in the surrounding suburbs.

Regarding the climatic status, Beijing has a monsoon-influenced humid continental climate. It has high humidity in the summers due to the East Asian monsoon, and colder, windier, drier winters due to the influence of the vast Siberian anticyclone. Springs witness sandstorms blowing from the Gobi Desert across the Mongolian steppe, accompanied by rapid warming, but generally dry, conditions. Autumn is a season of transition and minimal precipitation. The monthly daily average temperature in January is −3.7 °C, while in July it is 26.2 °C (79.2 °F).

Beijing Municipality currently comprises 16 administrative county-level subdivisions including 16 urban, suburban, and rural districts. Beijing's 16 county-level divisions (districts) are further subdivided into 273 lower third-level administrative units at the township level: 119 towns, 24 townships, 5 ethnic townships and 125 subdistricts.

Beijing's economy ranks among the most developed and prosperous in China. In 2013 , GDP was CN¥1.95 trillion. Due to the concentration of state owned enterprises in the national capital, Beijing in 2013 had more Fortune Global 500 Company headquarters than any other city in the world. It's 6 leading Economic Zones are Zhongguancun, Beijing Financial Street, Beijing Central Business District (CBD), Beijing Economic and Technological Development Area(Yizhuang), Beijing Airport Economic Zone & Beijing Olympic Center Zone. You may visit Shijingshan, on the western outskirts of the city, which is famous for heavy industrial steel-making.

Beijing is 9th in the world in the International Financial Centres Development Index published by the Xinhua News Agency, Chicago Mercantile Exchange and Dow Jones & Company & 29th in the world in the Global Financial Centres Index published by Z/Yen and the Qatar Financial Centre Authority. It's ranked No. 1 in the number of billionaire more than Moscow, New York and Hong Kong. In 2012, PricewaterhouseCoopers rated Beijing's overall economic influence as No. 1 in China.

People in Beijing speak Beijing dialect. Putonghua, the standard spoken language used in mainland China and Taiwan. Peking opera is a traditional form of Chinese theater well known throughout the nation. It is performed through a combination of song, spoken dialogue, and codified action sequences involving gestures, movement, fighting and acrobatics. People who are food lovers would like to eat Peking Roast Duck which is the best known dish. The best snack food is Fuling Jiabing, resembling a flat disk with a filling made from fu ling, a fungus used in traditional Chinese medicine.

Women would be interested in jewellery. Beijing provides you with lacquerware. It has sophisticated and intrinsic patterns and images carved into its surface .Various decoration techniques of lacquer include "carved lacquer" and "engraved gold".

Important places to visit are:

  • gardens, parks and scenic AREAS: Beihai, Shichahai, Zhongnanhai, Jingshan and Zhongshan.
  • notable sites: Tiananmen, Qianmen, the Great Hall of the People, the National Museum of China, the Monument to the People's Heroes, and the Mausoleum of Mao Zedong
  • religious sites: Temple of Heaven(UNESCO World Heritage Site), Temple of Earth (Ditan), Temple of the Sun (Ritan), Temple of the Moon (Yuetan), Dongyue Temple, Tanzhe Temple, Miaoying Temple, White Cloud Temple, Yonghe Temple, Fayuan Temple, Wanshou Temple and Big Bell Temple, Confucius Temple, Guozijian, Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception(1605), Niujie Mosque etc.
  • stone bridges: Lugou Bridge(12th Century), Baliqiao bridge(17th Cen.), Jade Belt Bridge(18th Cent.)
  • major museums: National Art Museum of China, the Capital Museum, the Beijing Art Museum, the Military Museum of the Chinese People's Revolution, the Geological Museum of China, the Beijing Museum of Natural History and the Paleozoological Museum of China.
  • Others Include: Thirteen Tombs of the Ming Dynasty, lavish and elaborate burial sites of thirteen Ming emperors, archaeological Peking Man site at Zhoukoudian, Great Wall of China most notably Badaling, Jinshanling, Simatai and Mutianyu.

A quote from the National Geographic says, "...the city remains an epicenter of tradition with the treasures of nearly 2,000 years as the imperial capital still on view—in the famed Forbidden City and in the city's lush pavilions and gardens..."

Friends, by now you must be familiar with a lot of facts about China & especially Beijing. So, why be bore & sit & read the details, why not go & see the reality which nature has given you, history has given you & the service which we give you. You are most welcome to the highly historic, highly cultural, highly developed, highly heritage Site city-Beijing. Will you still be late to visit us? Or give us an opportunity to reach you? We think you would prefer for the second. After all life is nothing but a journey from happiness to sadness, from pleasure to pain, from suffering to enjoyment, from beggary to richness, from childhood to old age & from birth to death. So, why waste this life without the taste of the gifts of nature. Come, enjoy the city, enjoy the heritage & be proud to be a spectator of history, geography, culture & the like. Are you ready?

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